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Chemistry Advising Resources

Department: Chemistry & Biochemistry

This page is meant to provide resources to assist you in planning your degree progress.

Contact Your Adviser

Email Advising:

Most advising questions can be answered over email! Please follow the guidelines below:

  • Use the chemistry advising email above, NOT the personal emails of Chemistry advisers.
  • Include your full name and student ID number.
  • If you are requesting assistance with forms, please attach a copy of your form to the email.

In-person Advising (Currently Zoom): Slug Success

The adviser for the Chemistry B.A., Chemistry B.S., Chemistry B.S. with Biochemistry Concentration, and the Chemistry minor is Marla Hesselink.

Make an appointment with Marla here
Instructions for how to make appointments using Slug Success

Getting Started in Chemistry

Getting Started Guides

Getting started in the major as a first-year student
Getting started in the major as a transfer student

Chemistry Self Assessment

Students who want to make sure they are prepared for the introductory general chemistry sequence are encouraged to take the Chemistry Self-Assessment offered in Canvas (The online system UCSC uses to create and manage lessons, courses, quizzes and other course materials). Your score on the exam will help you determine when to take general chemistry.

Accessing the Assessment:

NOTE: You will need your UCSC CruzID Gold and password to log in to Canvas.

Assessment Guidelines:

  • You may use a calculator and periodic table when taking the assessment.
  • The exam consists of 42 multiple choice questions.
  • There is no time limit, you may take as long as needed to complete the exam.
  • You will receive immediate feedback after submitting your exam.
  • The assessment is advisory, not required to enroll.
  • Any UCSC student with an active CruzID Gold password may take the assessment.

Assessment Score & Enrollment

  • 0-25 points: You should review general chemistry before enrolling in Chem 1A or Chem 1B. Recommended resource: UCI Chemistry 1P online
  • 25-35 points: You may benefit from review prior to enrolling in CHEM 1A.
  • 36-42 points: Your score suggests you are prepared to enroll in general chemistry.

Resources for Reviewing Chemistry

UC Irvine, CHEM 1P: Preparation for Chemistry

Transfer Credit Requests

Students preparing to transfer from a California Community College should reference to determine what UCSC coursework they can receive transfer credit for.

Students preparing to transfer from another University or an out-of-state Community College can request Major or Minor Credit for courses completed at their original institution.

NOTE: Unit Credit and satisfaction of GE requirements are processed through admissions. Please see the UCSC advising website for more information.

Degree Requirements and Planners

Degree requirements for Chemistry B.A.
Degree requirements for Chemistry B.S.
Degree requirements for Chemistry B.S. with Biochemistry Concentration

Fillable Planners

Below are links to academic planning forms you may use to independently create an academic plan and track your progress over time. It is highly recommended that you review their academic plan with the Chemistry Undergraduate Adviser to ensure accuracy and completeness.

Make sure to click on BOTH TABS at the bottom of the planning documents to view

  1. A forms that can be used to plan out coursework quarter-by-quarter
  2. A checklist of the course requirements to complete the degree or minor

Note: you will need to be logged in to your Google account in order to access these forms.

Make a copy of the Chemistry B.A. Academic Planning Form
Make a copy of the Chemistry B.S. Academic Planning Form
Make a copy of the Chemistry B.S. with Biochemistry Concentration Academic Planning Form
Make a copy of the Chemistry minor Academic Planning Form

Enrollment Policies

Lab Attendance and “Crashing”

Enrolled students who do not attend their first lab meeting will be dropped.  Attendance will be taken in the first 10 minutes, students not present when roll is taken will be dropped from the lab and their seats given to those on the waitlist.

  1. Gen Chem Labs (1M and 1N) do not have a lab lecture.  O Chem labs (8L and 8M) do – held once a week.
  2. O Chem Labs (8L and 8M): All students enrolled, waitlisted, or seeking a seat in a lab MUST attend the first class meeting (lab lecture) which is noted in the schedule of classes.
  3. “Crashing” lab sections:  In the case of all Chemistry labs, “crashing” is not an option, even if you are on the waitlist for the lab. Only enrolled students (not including waitlist) may attend the first lab. If you are on the waitlist, you must wait for confirmation notification by the Registrar’s Office regarding your official enrollment in a lab section prior to attending the lab section.

Gen Chem labs are offered every quarter.  Students have the option of delaying the lab for a future quarter if the lab sections are full. Enrollment is not concurrent:  CHEM 1B lecture / CHEM 1M lab      CHEM 1C lecture / CHEM 1N lab


All Chemistry courses will have a wait list.  Do not contact the instructor asking for a permission code.

Wait lists will be available at the start of Second Pass enrollment: Log in to MyUCSC to view your waitlist appointment time. For your best chance at becoming enrolled, add or swap onto a waitlist as soon as they become available.

All wait lists will be set to auto-enroll unless otherwise noted: Students will be automatically enrolled as space becomes available in the course and notified via email.

Wait lists will manage enrollment: If you want to enroll in a full course, you MUST enroll onto the waitlist.  To allow for fair access to enrollment, individual requests to instructors or the department will not be entertained.

Chem Lab Waitlists

If you are waitlisted in CHEM 1B, CHEM 1C, CHEM 8A, CHEM 8B, you will not be able to waitlist the corresponding lab course (CHEM 1N, CHEM 1M, CHEM 8L, CHEM 8M) until you are officially enrolled in the class, unless you have previously passed the courses.

Independent Study

If you need an independent study course number for enrollment for either your Senior Thesis or Lab Research, you must complete a Petition for Undergraduate Individual Studies form. You must have an informal agreement in place with the Professor/Faculty Sponsor prior to completing this form.

Enrollment Updates

Updated 5/12/21

Fall 2021 Enrollment

Students should have received an email on May 10 from that has a link to instructions on Understanding the Fall 2021 Class Schedule, including how to tell if the course and/or lab or discussion section you want to take will be in-person or remote or hybrid. Please check your email for the full instructions.

The short instructions are as follows:

If a course (or lab or discussion section) has a classroom listed as the location, it will be offered in-person on the day/time listed in the schedule.

If a course (or lab or discussion section) doesn’t have a classroom listed (instead lists ‘Remote Instruction’ or something similar), it will NOT be in person but may be at a certain time.

Some courses, discussion sections, or labs may have a combination of in-person and online/remote, so please pay close attention when making your schedule.

*For enrollment information/procedures/updates on BIOL courses, including BIOL 101L, 104L and 189W-02, visit the MCD enrollment website For updates on courses sponsored by other departments (non CHEM/BIOC courses), please visit the appropriate department websites.

Remote and In-Person Labs

All lower division CHEM labs for Fall 2021 (CHEM 1M, CHEM 1N, & CHEM 8L) will be remote. All upper division CHEM labs offered in Fall 2021 (CHEM 122 & CHEM 146A) will be in-person.

CHEM & BIOC lecture sections have both remote & in-person offerings.

The Chemistry & Biochemistry Department will be monitoring enrollment numbers throughout the enrollment period and adjusting capacities as possible/necessary.

General Chemistry

First Year Students: Sequencing of General Chemistry 1A, 1B, 1C

Please note that CHEM 1A and CHEM 1B do not have to be taken in order. These are 2 separate courses that do not build upon each other. CHEM 1A requires placement in Math 3 or equivalent (ALEKS placement score,AP test scores, or AM 3) and is a prerequisite for CHEM 1C but NOT CHEM 1B. Please keep this in mind if you find your Gen Chem course is full. You may have other options!

Organic Chemistry

CHEM 8M: enrollment is restricted (for Winter enrollment) during first pass to those majors in which it is a requirement. The enrollment restriction will lift during the second pass. CHEM 8M is offered both Winter and Spring Quarter.

CHEM 110/L: enrollment is restricted to chemistry majors, minors and proposed majors. Students outside of chemistry who wish to take this course should complete the Enrollment Request Form . Once all chemistry majors have had an opportunity to enroll into CHEM 110/L, those on the request form will be contacted via email with next steps if there are seats available. Entering your information on the form does not guarantee your enrollment into the course or lab.

Non-chemistry students needing a third quarter of organic chemistry should enroll into CHEM 109.

**CHEM 109 and CHEM 110L cannot be taken together. CHEM 109 does not substitute CHEM 110. CHEM 110 is the prerequisite for CHEM 110L.

How to Qualify and Declare

Students may petition to declare once they have completed all qualification courses and met the GPA requirements.

Qualification courses and GPA requirements for the B.A.
Qualification courses and GPA requirements for the B.S.

To initiate the process to declare, students should complete the online petition to declare (below) no later than two weeks prior to the declaration deadline. For assistance, please contact the chemistry advising team at

Students who entered UC Santa Cruz as first-year students are required to formally declare a major by the deadline in their sixth quarter on campus. Students who transfer to UC Santa Cruz are required to declare a major by the deadline in their second quarter.

Online Petition to Declare

Students enrolled in their final qualification policy course at the major declaration deadline may submit the petition, but will not be declared until satisfactory grades have been posted. To view the Petition to Declare Major form, you must be logged in to your UCSC email account.

Major Declaration Appeals

Appeals do not have to be any particular length, but should clearly and concisely explain the reason you are appealing.

All appeals must contain the following information at the top of the appeal letter:

  • Full name
  • Student ID number
  • Major you wish to declare

In the body of your appeal letter, explain the extenuating circumstances that influenced your academic performance. Identify solutions/resources you are using or intend to use to improve your academic performance in the future, and anything else you feel is relevant to explaining your circumstances.

Please note that the information you share in your appeal or with your advisers will be kept confidential and shared only with campus officials as required to serve you in an advising capacity or to process your appeal, except in cases related to potential harm to yourself or others, or sexual assault or abuse. In those cases, we may be required by law to report incidents you disclose to other need-to-know offices on campus such as the Title IX Office and/or University of California Police Department. If you are in need of support for any issues, please consult this list of confidential and/or support resources.

Academic Support
Below are some particularly useful resources for students seeking academic support. Please visit the website for a full list of academic support resources

  • ACE – The Academic Excellent Program provides discussion sections in biology, pre-calculus, general and organic chemistry and physics. Sections meet for 4 hours each week with professional teaching staff and take the place of the required secondary discussion section for your math or science lecture.
  • DRC – The Disability Resource Center assists the UCSC campus with equal educational access for students with disabilities.
  • EOP – Academic and personal support for educationally disadvantaged students.
  • LSS – Learning Support Services offers Modified Supplemental Instruction (MSI) and tutoring services.
  • MSI – Modified Supplemental Instruction gives students the opportunity to learn together in small groups led by advanced Student Learning Assistants.
  • STEM Diversity – The UCSC STEM Diversity Programs encompass a variety of programs that support underrepresented students in STEM fields.
Opportunities, Internships, & Careers in Chemistry

Chemistry is a degree that allows for a myriad of possibilities of career avenues. Graduates from Chemistry majors can pursue careers in industry, academia, government, non-profit, and/or entrepreneurship.

Want to receive targeted emails based on your career interests? Fill out the Career Interest Survey to sign up!

You can unsubscribe here at any time.

Below are some resources that the Chemistry and Biochemistry department has gathered for students to peruse through as they are considering careers for their degree.

General Career/Graduate Program Exploration:

Graduate/Ph.D. Program Finders:

Internships/Extracurricular Experience:

Meet with your adviser "Ask a Slug" peer advising